October ends the school year in Guatemala. This year, the Kateri Fund has four graduates. Silvia Sian Quiej, Blanca Surec, Barabara Tartan, and Francisca Cutzal Sian.
Silvia Sian Quiej and Blanc Surec Umul will receive their degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. They have spent their practicum learning the skills they will need to work in the kitchen, manage events, and the reception desk. They are eager to find work and continue their studies weekends at the university level.
Barabara Tarton did her secretarial practicum in the Coordinacion Tecnica de Educacion. She had to stay away from home during the week and missed her family, but it all went well
Francisca Cutzal Sirin finished her practicum with fourth graders in elementary school. She enjoyed teaching the students although it was a challenge planning and working with the students in the morning and attending her own classes in the afternoon.
The new challenge for them all will be to find work. It can take up to a year. The young women stay connected to the Kateri Fund by doing volunteer projects with the Fund to repay their scholarships. Through this connection, we are able to keep them from getting discouraged and to motivate them to keep looking. We also are seeking funds for our work experience program which places them in community jobs with a stipend. This provides the experince which many employers require and gives them some income to keep them going. Consider donating to this project at #9862 Work Experience for 10 indigenous women to support the job search of these young women.
The rest of the young women will continue next year in the program. In November we will be deciding on how many scholarships we will be able to award. We have more than 20 applicants. To be able to serve all who have a need, we will need to have this project fully funded by Dec 1. 2013. Please get the word out to your family and friends and solicit their support.
With the help of a grant from the Atkinson Fund, the Kateri Fund Promotor, Candalaria Sut has shown the women in Chumanzana, Chichicastenango, Guatemala how to implement the ideas they have been receiving in workshops for about a year. This grant will give the women the tools and capital they need.
The first step was to provide each woman with the tools to prepare and tend her garden. There are pictures attached that show them with their new tools. Having these tools has given them a surge of energy which will animate their work.
Here are some comments from the women.:
Manuela Velasquez Alba is new to the group. She is very pleased with her participation. She said that she was going to take care of each one of her gardens so it would always be green.
Maria Quino Velasquez thanks everyone who has sacrificed to give her the tools and materials to start her garden. It will benefit her and her whole family. She will take care of her garden to always be able to eat fresh vegetables.
Dona Catalina Quino will maintain her garden so that she won't need to buy vegetables in the market and can save money.
Sebastiana Och Morales is already benefiting from her garden as she has cilantro growing and doesn't need to buy it. She will grow vegetables always in her garden and guard it so the chickens don't eat them.
On September 26th, the wmone built the first raised bed with Dona Isabela Morales. The plan is to build two each week. The women are working with renewed energy as they see the possibilities ahead!
For me, this position with the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund has been a good experience. I have learned many things that I did not know before. This experience has been very useful to me. It will make it easier for me to secure a job. In Guatemala, it is always necessary to arrive with experience when you apply for a job opportunity.
In the office of the Fund I have received various knowledge as I was able to help the bookkeeper to realize her activities. For a bookkeeper, it is essential to know diffferent methods of keeping the accounts of an institution. A bookkeeper also needs to know how to file adequately the documents that come in.
The course that the Fund provided for me was very useful. It was very practical and I have applied it to various activities. I also can add this workshop to my resume.
During my work experience in the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund, I realized the following activities for the benefit of the office.
I am thankful to the Kateri Fund and to you the donors for the opportunity you give me to work in the Kateri office and have a half year of experience that will be a benefit to my work life.